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Shoulder Bag

page 6
make strap / finish purse

free purse pattern
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Page 6: make shoulder strap / finish purse
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NOTE: All seams 1/4"

Finish Purse Exterior

1. Stitch Main Purse Exterior Pieces Together

stitch purse exterior Cut the back piece for the purse exterior measuring 13.5" wide x 8.5" tall. Cut one purse bottom piece measuring 10.5" wide x 3.5" tall

Stitch the purse front and purse back to the bottom piece, just like you did for the purse lining. The bottom edges of the front and back are stitched to the two sides of the bottom piece.

2. Create Mitered Corners

stitch mitered corner on purse Just as you did for the lining, fold the exterior piece right sides together. Stitch the two sides. Create mitered corners on the bottom.

3. Make Pleats

stitch mitered corner on purse Turn the purse exterior inside out. Place outside of the lining piece. Just as you did for the lining, pin two pleats on each end of the bag. Align the two end seams together (purse exterior to lining), then create the pleats (should be a bit less than 1" from the end seam). Pin the exterior to the lining all the way around, close to the top to ensure fit. The lining and purse will be stitched together around the top, so the circumference must be equal between the two. When you are sure of fit, stitch the pleats of the purse exterior. They should be approximately 1/2" x 2" (just as the lining pleats were, but the important thing is for the two layers to fit together around the top - adjust as necessary).

press pleats on purse Separate the lining piece from the exterior piece. Press under the top 1/4" of both the purse lining and the purse exterior. Press the pleats toward the center seam on each end.

Turn the bag exterior right side out.

Cut a piece of stiffener (cardboard, heavy interfacing, fleece, etc.) 3" x 10" and place it in the bottom of the bag exterior. This will help give the bottom shape.

pin purse layers together Place the bag lining into the bag exterior. Pin all the way around the top. Check fitting once again. The bag exterior will be stitched to the bag lining close to the top edge, so both layers must be the same circumference.

4. Add Purse Strap & Finish Purse

Decide what length you wish the purse strap to be. At my height (just over 5 feet) 37" would hang around the hip. I wanted this purse to hang just above the waist, snug at my side. I chose 28" as my length. Try on some of your purses to decide best length for you. Once you have decided on length, I suggest you pin a tape measure to your purse ends at the length you have chosen and try on the purse to be sure you are happy with the strap length.

Once you have decided on a length, add 2". This excess will be inside the purse ends. Cut a piece of purse exterior fabric 4" wide and to the length you need. I wanted a strap that was 28", so I cut my fabric 4" wide by 30" long.

make purse shoulder strap Fold the purse strap piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press. Unfold the piece. Fold in each long edge toward the middle fold. Press.

make purse shoulder strap Fold the two folded sides together. You will now have a strap that is a thickness of 4 layers of fabric. Topstitch around all four sides, close to the edge (1/8").

free purse pattern Place lining inside the purse exterior. Pin the purse strap ends to opposite ends of the purse, between the lining and purse exterior. Pin the lining and purse exterior together around the top of the purse. Hand baste the purse exterior and lining together.

free purse pattern Topstitch around the purse top, close to the edge (1/8"). Remove basting.

Congratulations! You are finished! Enjoy your beautiful new purse.

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